Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 1, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

2:00 pm
quorum call:
2:01 pm
2:02 pm
2:03 pm
2:04 pm
2:05 pm
2:06 pm
2:07 pm
2:08 pm
2:09 pm
2:10 pm
2:11 pm
2:12 pm
2:13 pm
2:14 pm
2:15 pm
quorum call:
2:16 pm
mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i ask had a the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, we all know that our ally israel is in a fight for its survival because a terrorist group so named by the united states and europe is at war with israel right now. and we remember how it all
2:17 pm
started with the kidnapping of three israeli boys and the torture and their death, and hamas praised that. tragically, there was a revenge killing, and the government arrested those responsible for it and they're going to pay for that. while hamas praises -- praises what happened. today i spoke with the ambassador, and i have to say just now -- this is what i heard him say, and i haven't fact-checked this, but as i understand it, there was a cease-fire in place. all sides agreed. everybody agreed. israel was going to be allowed to clear out the tunnels, which are being used to open up to had --to hamas the country of israel where they go underground and they have one objective -- to
2:18 pm
kill israelis, to torture them, to kidnap them. no country, no country could ever live with that -- no country. not our country. imagine if we had 100 rockets a day coming from mexico or canada or from the sea, either side. we'd never, ever sit back for that. we would never sit back if under our great cities we had terrorists building tunnels so that they could sneak in suicide bombers to kill our people. here we had a cease-fire, and i know secretary of state -- the secretary of state worked hard on that. and yet -- and still what happened? even though it was known that israel was permitted to continue cleaning out these tunnels, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killed israeli soldiers, and then someone else grabbed and
2:19 pm
kidnapped -- we think, we think -- an israeli soldier. we don't know al. all the facts aren't in. this must be condemned. we have a bill, senator blunt and i, that has 81 cosponsors on it. it is the israeli-america strategic partnership act. and it will send a strong significant mall that i had that we stand -- signal today that we stand with israel. we want peace, we want justice, we want a good life for the israelis and the palestinian people, but you can't do it when you have a terrorist organization running, in essence, the gaza strip. now, in this bill that senator blunt and i have worked on, there is a visa waiver section. and i just want to go over that
2:20 pm
because i fear we may have objection to this. i'm hoping not. i still hope we won't. but in this visa waiver section, it does three things. first, it expresses the sense of the senate that israel should be designated as a program country under the visa waiver program. second, it urges u.s. engagement with israel to help it meet the requirements of the waiver program; i.e., when israelis come over that they pay ateptioy attention to the time on their visas and go back when their time is up. third, it authorizes but doesn't require the administration to waive the nonimmigrant requirement only if israel meets all the other requirements. here's what's important: there are 38 countries in the visa waiver program. these countries represent some of america's closest allies. 20 of the current visa waiver countries are nato allies.
2:21 pm
i want to say to senator sessions and anyone within the sound of my voice that the provision that i hope he will not object to today, the provision gives israel the united states' strongest ally in the middle east, a chance to join the program. as a member of the visa waiver program, israeli citizens, many who have family in america, would be allowed to visit the u.s. for up to 90 days without first obtaining a visa. this deepens the ties between our nations. now, i just want to read some of the countries that have these privileges. lithuania, latvia, hungary, slovakia, estonia, the czech republic. mr. president, i was proud to support them, but i'm also proud to say that israel zev's to be in that list. -- deserves to be in that list. why shouldn't they have the same
2:22 pm
opportunity? now, when we first wrote our visa waiver provision, there were objections that it didn't have enough flexibility. we chappinge changed it. now we have 81 sponsors of this legislation. i just would ask, how many pieces of legislation have 81 cosponsors? this is -- you couldn't even get it for a mother's day resolution. i mean, this is really, really strong. and of all the times for us to object to this u.s.-israel strategic partnership act, it should not be today. so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 492, s. 2673, that the bill be read a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama.
2:23 pm
mr. sessions: reserving the right too or, i appreciate senator boxer's leadership on this issue. she is a great advocate and a strong supporter of israel, as i am and have been consistently since i've been in the senate. and i would note, senator boxer, that this is -- the expansion of this program has been problematic for sometime. i have been involved with the visa waiver program for quite a number of years, and so my concern is not based on israel, but it's based on trying to maintain consistency and effectiveness of the program. it is not a program that i think is operating effectively. congress has declared no more visa waivers be completed until after this visa -- our
2:24 pm
entry-exit visa system has been completed. i would note that our house colleagues have passed a bill very similar to what senator boxer and others have -- are supporting, but it does not include this visa waiver program. so based on that, i am not able to support this amendment and would object. mr. chairman, if the senator would allow me, i would say that let's pass the bill without that provision in it. let's get that done today. and i will commit to further research and digging into this to see if there's any legitimate way, based on law and consistency and the integrity of the visa waiver system, that i could support it. it might be israe -- israel is n educated country.
2:25 pm
we have a lot of people travel back and forth between our two countries. so far the state department has not approved t th it. the house does not have it in their bill. and i, a member of the judiciary committee, i have resisted the expansion of this program contrary to the law and state department policies. so, regretfully, i have objected. the presiding officer: socks -- objection is heard. the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i won't be lopping, but i am so -- i won't be long, but i am know disappointed. i have to say that the visa waiver section, i'm not being stubborn about it, all it does is it says that israel should have the same privileges as lithuania, latvia, hungary, slovakia, estonia, and the czech republic. i mean, of all the days to say "no" to this bill, with what's going on over there, it just
2:26 pm
hurts my heart. it breaks my heart, because this bill authorizes $200 million in the value of u.s. weapons held in israel to a total of $1.8 million. it is a stockpile intended to use by u.s. forces. but in the event of an emergency, israel can tap that. and my god, this is an emergency. it is so critical. just last week the u.s. provided israel with ammunition from the stockpile after israel requested help to replace its depleted supplies. we shouldn't be waiting another hour to pass this. and here we are as the clock ticks down, and we go off on our break, and as my friend knows, this bill doesn't cost one slim dime, not one slim dime, not one penny. it is such a signal to israel that we stand with her. it also has an energy section
2:27 pm
that -- where we help israel develop her natural gas supplies to become energy-independent. it's so sad for me today. last night senator corker had an objection. he cleared it, and he and i had a real go-to on it and i know we had a bit of a misunderstanding. he backed off. i'm so appreciative. then senator coburn had a problem, and he backed off and said, no, i kind of like this section. and then senator lee had a problem, and senator coburn talked to senator lee, and senator lee woo was fine. we have 81 people on this bill, and one senator tonight -- this afternoon is holding it, holding it hostage because he doesn't like the program. well, we can all work together on the program, but why signal out israel because you don't like the program?
2:28 pm
let this go. we can have a colloquy. we can work together, senator sessions. we can make sure there's no abuse here. we changed this so that we'd be sure there's no abuse. so i'm really very saddened at this, and you will i can say is, senator blunt and i are coming back with this bill over and over and over again. and one way or the oh, we'll get it done -- and one way or the other, we'll get it done. and i say to my friends in israel, take heart. 81 of the u.s. senators are with you. only one objected. so take heart because we are with you, and we will get this done. mr. president, that's the end of my remarks. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
2:29 pm
2:30 pm
bovment bovmenmrs. boxer: mr. p? the presiding officer: the senator isenator from californi. mrs. boxer: mr. president, you look very good in that chair, and i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, if it would be more convenient for you to come to this desk right now, i'm happy to sit in the chair for you. and sincen can't answer, i will note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
2:31 pm
mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: recall the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: is the motion to proceed to s.j. res. 19 now pending? the presiding officer: it is pending. mr. reid: i have a cloture motion. i ask the chair to order it
2:32 pm
reported. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the motion to proceed to calendar number 471, s.j. res. 19, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution of united states relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections signed by 17 senators as follows --. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the vote on the motion to invoke cloture occur on monday, september 8 when the senate resumes legislative session following the exemption on the pryor nomination. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous
2:33 pm
consent the time we proceed to a period of morning business and senators allowed to speak up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the banking committee be discharged from further action on h.r. 4386. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 4386, an act to allow the secretary of the treasury to rely on state examinations for certain financial institutions and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time, passed the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table and there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to h.r. 5195. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 5195, an act to provide additional visas for the afghan special immigrant visa program and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the
2:34 pm
measure? without objection. so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and the senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill. the presiding officer: without objection. is there further debate? if not, all in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes do have it. the measure is agreed to. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of calendar numbers 507 through 5511 -- 511, all post office naming bills. the priding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measures en bloc. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bills be read a third time, passed, and the motions to reconsider be made and laid on the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without
2:35 pm
objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 536. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 536, designating september, 2014 as national ovarian cancer awareness month. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that during the adjournment or recess of the senate from friday, august 1 through monday, september 8 senators rockefeller, reed of rhode island, levin, coons and cardin be authorized to design bills or joint resolutions. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
2:36 pm
quorum call:
2:37 pm
2:38 pm
mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent notwithstanding the previous order, following the vote on confirmation of pryor on monday, september, 2014, the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 910, 911, 908 and 909, there be two minutes for debate equally divided and controlled between the leaders or their designees, following the yielding back of that time there be no intervening advantage, any roll call votes following the first in the series be ten minutes in length, that if any nomination is confirmed, the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate, that no further motion be in order to the nomination, and any statements related to the nomination printed in the
2:39 pm
record and the president be immediately note of the senate's action. the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, i ask unanimous consent 1993 when the senate complete its business it complete until south tuesday, august 5, following the prayer and pledge, the journal be approved, the time for the two leaders reserved for use later in day, following fila there be a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: so, mr. president, there -- madam president, there will be no roll call votes on tuesday, the next roll call vote will be at 5:30 p.m. on monday, september 8. and when i say tuesday, that's this tuesday coming up, two days from now. so if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until
2:40 pm
senate stands adjourned until general behind the back. 75 percent of cases we document there is some form of physical violence in varying degrees
2:41 pm
during the arrest, transfer, and interrogation phases. this system really is set up to control people. the military law, the military framework really is not a justice system. it's a system of control. you see that in the way that arrests play out. you don't see very many kids being arrested in the center. if you go around the northern west bank, military presence, sellers, these are the communities being impacted. from the cases we document, the kids will represent, it doesn't matter if he throws stones are not. it really doesn't. the system is not based on evidence. is not based on the rule of law. it's not based on international juvenile justice standards are in the international standards of all. you have kids, maybe it's a
2:42 pm
village that has weekly demonstrations against the occupation, against the confiscation of land, the separation. these communities are impacted. these bikinis, the same wage are violently abused car run through our criminal justice system that provides very little legal protection. so just briefly we take for granted the right to counsel and the u.s. everyone can probably recite the brand a warnings or at least you should be able to because their clauses we enjoy that protect us maybe not all the time, but interior should. those rights don't exist a child is taken to an interrogation center. if they are arrested at 2:00 a.m. the may show up at an interrogation center in the west bank in an israeli settlement
2:43 pm
being interrogated by an israeli police officer or military intelligence officer at 9:00 a.m. martin a.m. during that six of seven hours they've been in the back of a cheap bound and blindfolded the it taken and the jeep, placed outside of the rain and cold temperatures. they don't have a jacket. it might not have shoes. this is a systematic treatment that has been documented by our organization, international organizations, un agencies, really everyone for over a decade. he still have very little change . when there are practical changes to the military law system that don't really affect anything. the change to my children were considered anyone below 16 under military law. seventeen, 18, you're an adult. under israeli law and it was anyone under 18.
2:44 pm
the basic definition for discrimination treat people differently based on their identity. so that is been changed company it wanted to? not much dahna breveted not affect sentencing provisions provided for 16 of 17 he can still be sentenced as an adult. it didn't affect time frames. if you're 12 and 13, 14 f-15, you have to be brought before a military court judge within 48 hours but if. ♪ in a 17 as for dennis and it's a practical changes have not happened. that's why we need to really push for a challenging subject -- systematic impunity. i think what people think of military law, international laws, the occupation, their focus on loss during their is
2:45 pm
not much focus on rule of law, implementation of law, what those protections actually mean. that's one thing that our organization works to do in may we documented a case of two palestinian teenagers shot with live every nation while at a demonstration. and were killed. it was caught on video. at the time this felt like a significant shock. people will listen. it can't be worse than this canadian know, the evidence for this case is just insurmountable perry have so much. it's on video. there has to be some type of accountability. to the state the soldiers that are responsible for those actions, killing those two kids have not been brought to justice , have not even had any accountability of any sort
2:46 pm
produced by the israeli military, by the israeli government. the investigation is ongoing. there's a gag order, you can't talk about it. there is no information. what we do know from representing kids from documented violations, there's very little accountability and not really the heart of the problem. the occupation is impunity. a tax in gaza, can't say enough. it is systematic impunity. kids are dying. kids are being bombed. kids have been shocked by shells, bombs for years. the seizure of gaza violates international law. ec governments not standing up to that, not pressuring for an end to the humanitarian crisis. the cease-fire needs to happen immediately. that cease-fire knees to be with
2:47 pm
the natural lifting of the siege . not sustainable. children will continue to bear the brunt of the violence has long as the status "is perpetuated. so it is depressing. i just want to thank you for being here, for listening. please talk, do something. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
2:48 pm
>> thank you for coming today. perhaps those folks and all like to keep it down. my name to find the middle east north africa and advocacy director for amnesty international. it is my privilege to join your today the canada want to thank all the members of the press who are here, folks in the community have been concerned, congressional staff as well as congressman keith ellison. thank you for your opinion piece in the washington post. thank you for calling for a lifting of the gaza blockade under which palestinian civilians have suffered greatly. thank you. [applause] >> these are very challenging times. in my brief comments and tried to talk about the human rights violations and the occupied palestinian territory. we have heard the terrible story of the experiences.
2:49 pm
sadly they are not alone in their experiences. israeli occupied palestinian territories which includes the west bank and east jerusalem are in a human rights crisis of massive proportions. first, is worth talking about the crisis but i think has brought us into this room today at this immediate moment, what is happening right now. the latest numbers are terrible. 1400 palestinians, perhaps many more killed, but some 50 israeli soldiers or more killed. three civilians killed. a quarter of a million or more palestinian civilians in gaza displaced from their home. some members going much higher than that. 10% of the civilians have now fled their homes and their sitting in line huddled in you and in schools and facilities across the gaza strip. this is a terrible time for human-rights not only because rockets are flying into israel -- indiscriminate rockers that did not discriminate between civilians were combatants that
2:50 pm
only because there being fired but because the israeli government is engaging in likely war crimes and the gaza strip. he's likely workrooms, against a backdrop of blockades which for seven years has deprived civilians of opportunities to work and live. every time you see a press release by the israeli government praising itself for allowing humanitarian shipments in the gaza remember the fallen. gaza palestinian civilians do not want humanitarian shipments. the only reason humanitarian shipments are coming in is because the israeli government has shut down because the economy. as a result they no longer have factories to work again, jobs. unheard of double-digit unemployment rates that i read reports of richard to 40 or 50 percent of the population. it's a terrible problem, and it amounts to a collective punishment and the blockade needs to be lifted immediately.
2:51 pm
in addition to that we have the problem of beckley war crimes by the israeli government and it strikes. for example, in gaza's main power plant has largely been shut down which is highly likely if that is confirmed or not only be a war crime but also amount to collective punishment because now much of the gaza strip is being brought into a situation without power for 22 but 24 hours a day. those twitter pictures you're seeing of civilians being killed, those images come in and out into the world, if the people taking those photos can't charge of phones, turn on their computers because they don't have power, how was the world going to know what is happening today? this is the problem that is faced by the civilians living in the gaza strip. that is why amnesty international is deeply concerned and calling for boulder and significant moves to happen. one, the united nations security
2:52 pm
council meets to immediately establish an arms embargo on all parties. that includes israel and palestinian armed groups. until the united nations security council does so individual nations and parties supplying weapons to the parties of the conflict must stop immediately. here in the united states amnesty international is calling on the u.s. government to stop supplying weapons, arms, military equipment and aid to israel. israel is a major party to the conflict, and it is time to stop the u.s. supply of weapons, arms, and military aid. it is ridiculous the u.s. secretary of state is talking about a cease-fire while simultaneously the u.s. government is releasing more artillery shells and other forms of munitions to the israeli government. just yesterday amnesty international released the latest information on some to wonder $75 million worth of arms, equipment, and other forms of military aid that had been
2:53 pm
released ranging from rifle parts and cartridges to missile parts and rockets to the israeli government. those $276 million that have been supplied in arms and munitions to the israeli government to not include big ticket items like jets and naval equipment and other sorts of high technology. all of this needs to stop. all countries supplying weapons need to stop immediately, and that includes the united states. in addition to that we need to see with regard to the un security council immediate referral of the entire manner and a binding security council resolution to the international criminal court soak there can be a prompt investigation a potential prosecution of everyone involved in violation of international law and human rights whether we're talking about israeli soldiers or those who are firing artillery which by its nature is indiscriminate and on target into dense civilian areas were talking about militants firing rockets
2:54 pm
and a civilian populations in israel. everyone is violating international humanitarian law in its to be held accountable, and the u.n. security council should do that immediately. now want to move to a question of what is happening in the other parts of the occupied palestinian territories, specifically the west bank. what we heard today is one example of many in which palestinian civilians have suffered greatly under israeli occupation forces and their conduct in the west bank and the occupied palestinian territory. earlier this year in february of 2014 amnesty international released its latest report with regard to this call trigger happy. there are copies outside and have a copy with me on the table in our report we documented al israeli soldiers and forces have repeatedly violated their obligations under international human rights law by using excessive force to stifle dissent and freedom of expression resulting in a
2:55 pm
pattern of unlawful killings and injuries to civilians including children in the occupied west bank including east jerusalem. the report shows of israeli forces a been permitted to do so with virtual impunity and with perhaps just one exception. none of the soldiers were combatants involved in some of these violations of basic human rights of bin prosecutor by the israeli government. just to give you an idea of some of the numbers were talking about, between january 2011 and december 2013 over 8,000 palestinians, including at least 1500 children were injured by means other than live ammunition , other than live ammunition including rubber coated metal boats and the reckless use of tear gas. in addition to the 8,000 or so who are injured by means other than live ammunition, some two ordered 61 palestinians including 67 children were seriously injured by live ammunition.
2:56 pm
in terms of deaths according to the u.n. office of the coordination of humanitarian affairs in 2013 some 27 palestinians were killed in the occupied palestinian territory including four children. eight were killed in 2012, ten in 2011. will we seeing in 2013 was a number of deaths due to excessive use of force by israeli security forces. more than 2011 and 2012 combined. want to just be clear about what numbers are not included in this these numbers do not include cases of killings or injuries in contexts such as search and arrest operations, and the report does not cover israel's use of excessive force against palestinian protesters and the gaza strip such as in the so-called buffer zone. were talking about the number of deaths and wounded outside of those numbers. this, in turn, leads to a situation in which you have no
2:57 pm
accountability and israeli soldiers and security forces are never held accountable with perhaps one exception. and all of this happens against a backdrop of repressive laws in which you have are racist dual track system of law in the west bank where palestinian civilians live under israeli military lock quell israeli settlers living in illegal settlements that are war crimes under international law while israeli settlers live under civilian law. just to give you a couple of examples of the laws that palestinian civilians live under that the are forced to violate simply by engaging in the free of expression. military order 101 regarding the prohibition of axe of incitement of hostile propaganda issued by the israeli army commander in the west bank region in 1967 has remained in place since 1967. military order 101. that's all gatherings of ten or more persons for political
2:58 pm
purpose or for a matter that could be interpreted as political or even to discuss such a topic unless they've received authorization in advance under permit issued by the israeli military commander. let me break that down, under israeli military order one no one in the occupied palestinian territories it is illegal for palestinian civilians to peacefully protest the occupation they live under without the permission of the israeli military commander enforcing the occupation. when palestinians to violate military order while one there at high risk of becoming one of the 8,000 or more palestinians in the past three years experienced serious injury through rubber coated bullets, tear gas, or other forms of violence from the israeli military in the occupied palestinian territories. one more example -- i'm sorry, i forgot to mention the penalties. anyone breaching the order faces imprisonment for up to ten years and/or a hefty fine. these are the penalties for
2:59 pm
engaging in basic freedom of expression. this is what we're up against him and want to flag one last case, the case of a man who i met a year ago when i participated in amnesty international's research mission , specifically the west bank. a visit of village, a palestinian village his main road had been blocked by israeli soldiers a that a neighboring settlement could expand. their i sat the living room of a man who is a community leader who is leading peaceful protests against the settlement and the enforcement of the settlement by the israeli military. he is now in jail under a combination of false charges for supposedly throwing rocks and inciting others. also for -- he is also being held by the israeli security forces for a demonstration without a permit which is an example of how palestinian civilians face harsh crackdowns
3:00 pm
from israeli security forces simply for peacefully protesting the very reality of their occupation. the u.s. government today, the time is coming to start holding the israeli government accountable. this should have happened a long time ago. with world opinion dramatically shifting, with the images of some many dead babies, children, civilians fleeing peoples twitter accounts and in boxes is time for a substantial shift in the way the government approaches this issue. the u.s. should stop supplying weapons, start holding its allies accountable, and the u.s. should start standing of the basic rights of civilians the israeli, palestinian, jewish, whenever there as it -- ethnicity, nationality, religion thank you. [applause] .. pass
3:01 pm
they were fleeing their home when the second israeli missile followed them and kill them. i would just like to take a moment of silence and prayer, please, for these fallen, and the thousands of others. thank you. >> i'd like to talk to all of it
3:02 pm
about gaza because that's why we're all here. i'd like to start by giving you a little bit of context. because all too often we hear about this as the latest cycle of violence, as a response, as a justified retaliation by israel, as self-defense. for the killing of three israeli teenagers. the reality is, gaza right now is being bombarded. is completely blocked out, but ceased and blockaded. this is a situation unheard of in modern history. for a population that is already largely refugees, that is already deceased, that is already stateless, to then be bombarded mercilessly. with no intervention. gaza is roughly twice the size of washington, d.c. where we all sit today. it has a little over 1 million a
3:03 pm
half and happens, 1.7, going on 1.8. most of those inhabitants are under the age of 18. they are under the age of 18. three quarters are refugees, meaning they are not from the place they are compelled to live. they are from towns and villages, many of them destroyed, ethnically cleansed by zionist alicia is prior to 1948, and they sought refuge in gaza and your beseiged in gaza and they're not allowed to return to their native land. unlike the unhcr that has a mandate to provide for these refugees, this does not have a protection mandate. so these palestinians that are being targeted literally have nowhere to run. we heard is over and over again but it bears reminding. and no one to protect them. no one to protect them. the arno bomb shelters, there are no sirens, there is no one to protect them. this leads many to refer to gaza
3:04 pm
as the world's largest air open prison. this -- there is a crime that is punishable, so i'd like to refer to more of an internment camp or a different award for human rights watch called it, a suit, a holding pen for animals where it's open season 24/7, where the question of freedom of the inhabitants is never raised. the question of freedom is never raised. gaza is illegally occupied. we hear about well communism israel -- they left everything. what more do they want? rockets are still flying out of gaza. the reality is all of goddesses markers of sullenberger are still controlled by israel. the borders, the airspace, there's a naval blockade on ga gaza. the population register, the taxation system, any child is born in gaza must be registered through israel. families come tens of thousands of palestinian families are split apart including my own
3:05 pm
because one half of the number of them as a resident of gaza under israeli law and the others not, and israel denies them the right to live with our family. my husband is a refugee from northern historic palestine. is not allowed to come visit me when i go to gaza, to go to his own land where his father was born, his ancestors lived. so again all of goddesses effective markers of sovereignty continue to be controlled by israel. gaza has been subject to the to some form of sojourn. this is not a recent phenomenon. we hear of it being sort of the result of, response thomas election empower. the reality is hamas is a red herring. the blockade in its most stringent form actually started prior to election of hamas. i was there. i was a reporter. it started after israel's disengagement in 2005. right after that they shut down unilaterally all of the commercial crossings resulting in billions of dollars of lost
3:06 pm
palestinian economy, plunging it into unprecedented the american crisis, according to amnesty and others. this is before hamas was elected to power. they cut off gaza from the rest of palestine and the rest of palestinians and the rest of the word because it is not just gaza. gaza cannot survive on its own. it is part of the greater palestinian nation, heart of the west bank, east jerusalem. living in camps on the outside. this is a siege by the way that is got more and more stringent over the years, that is not a siege that targets hamas or whoever the israelis say it is targeting. it is in the israeli architects own word those who design this. in their own work is designed to target gaza's productive sector, crippled the freedoms of the palestinians and deny them the most basic human rights. and this is i quote, about the
3:07 pm
purpose, they came back and said the tenants are no developments, no prosperity, no humidity and crisis. in other words, disease is intended to stifle development, to stifle prosperity, but not to get things so bad that it creates a media outcry and he american crisis. so enough foodstuffs and goods are allowed i in gaza, just enoh to keep them teetering on the edge. there's a caloric equation. just 10 calories allowed to make sure that there's food for the population, food that because of universal unemployment and impoverishment people cannot access. this has resulted in mass a dependence come something like 80% of palestinians in gaza are now food insecure mean they rely on some sort of food ration to be able to survive. this should not be the case. it's artificial, purposeful, deliberate, calculated, malicious.
3:08 pm
the beseiged is intended to further the fragmentation of palestinian people and separate them from one another. from their counterparts in the west bank, in east jerusalem, in 1948 territories now israel. and on the outside. it is a siege that has restricted to gaza's fishing so come one of its main industries. gaza is a coastal territory, to three nautical mile's. they restricted to 20 nautical mile to their allowed to fish three nautical mile's. if you go as i did last june and you go to the fishing markets in gaza, all of the fish you will see are about this big. there's nothing for them to fish anymore. it is a siege that restricts farmers ability to reach their farmland, half of which is along the border area that is not under israeli control, part of the buffer zone. restricts the ability to reach their farmland at the risk of being shot, at the risk of being incarcerated, which we often hear. again you don't hear of these
3:09 pm
palestinians being killed, these fishermen been shot out. this is what is happening as result of a siege. it is a siege that restricts, denies categorically bands, palestinian students in gaza from going to study in the west bank, in east jerusalem and other universities. remember, they make up a majority of gaza's population. it is a siege that bands large events the exports of any, of goddesses good outside of gaza. the movement, the people in and out of gaza as well as the import of construction materials to be able to rebuild the fact is, balance this is after the operation we will be facing the same problem after the current us all. the result is universal male unemployment which in turn has resulted in increased poverty rates, massive a dependence to food and secured in to be clear, there's no shortage of food in gaza. just radically and purposefully reduced. almost zero purchasing power.
3:10 pm
all this is happening with israel preserves its right to strike gaza at any moment, to strike any facility anywhere, 2000 at will, to incarcerate and to blockade gaza. it preserves this right. palestinians have to remain silent in the face of all of this come in the face of these unspeakable brutalities come extermination and slow, silent string collation. we have only the right to remain silent. once this picture is painted you can then begin to understand what life is like, what life has been like for palestinians in gaza, and that no sane person would tolerate, no sane person would tolerate, no people would tolerate this status quo, such as succeeding conditions carefully designed to crush their will to survive, their normalcy and their freedom and productivity. nobody, nobody, nobody would accept that. i spoke about the fishermen.
3:11 pm
i spoke about the farmers. one pharma i met in 2010 was at a farming workshop put on by a union trying to learn how to rebuild his life because palestinians in gaza don't sit quietly and resigned themselves to the status quo. they want to survive. they want to continue to exist because with an existence is a form of resistance. and asked him why he was there, what happened. and he said 500 acres of this land were systematically razed to the ground by bulldozers and 50 of his -- he was trying to make a difficult decision of what he should reflect the he should reflect those trees that take years to become fruitful. in the meantime become a dependent or resort to horticulture or some other method of livelihood and income. i.c. farmers all the time but i saw a farmer planting not once, twice, for the third time is all the grove, happily with a smile and his face. saying they uproot all of his olive trees that is going to continue to go and plant his land because this is his way of
3:12 pm
surviving. fishermen have created in land freshwater fish farms which is absurd to think you did a fresh farmer fish in gaza. this is the ingenuity that continues to survive and be resilient. on to the current situation, i'll close with that. we got some of the biggest in 1400 palestinians killed, and it's not just again figures and statistics. more than 55 families, 55 families in their entirety, in their entirety, completely eviscerated by the way. families huddled together in their homes, children like my family members running for safety. and thousands and thousands maimed and traumatized. more disturbing our accounts we are of owners schools taking direct hits despite multiple reports to the israelis of their location, being given to the israeli army. this is as recent as two days ago.
3:13 pm
and, of course, we heard about the power plant being bombed, which under active on twitter in italy after it was bombed, 24 hours later the gaza twitterverse went size and. silent. there were hundreds, this is what marked different from other was. hundreds of eyewitnesses giving minute by minute account as young as 15, 16 years old as they're being bombarded, as they were fleeing for safety as to what happened. it went silent. so you can sort of draw a connection. and i'd like to just end with this account from my aunt, who is a physician and a women's and human rights activist in gaza. and she was seeing a couple young children in this tertiary care clinic being sent from the main hospital which is leading. she gave this account to me than anyone yesterday morning. she said, first i'll begin with a story of an unnamed child we call number six. he was around three years and i had identify stickers on his arms thing unknown and number
3:14 pm
six. i was shocked. i asked the nurses and then those drivers what his name was. i was told no one knew. no one knew. they found in a mass of destroyed houses, and the was the only survivor of his family. he had a head injury and wounded two other parts of his body. immediate itasca does anyone remember where the house was? they said it was in the air with founding. all the buildings were destroyed, and mixed up with one another and sometimes children are thrown from one area to another, so nobody knew where he lived. nobody knew. and then i realized, my aunt said, he is number six and that means there were five other unknown children before him. and many, many more children after him. i stopped asking questions because i needed to do my work. second is the story of a six-year-old. he arrived in the extra unit. she has a name also and she used to have a family. she was the only surviving
3:15 pm
member. she lost her parents and all of her brothers and sisters, and she was injured in the head. these are just two small examples of what is being done in gaza. now we hear a lot of talk of israel's need to defend itself, its right to defend itself, israel's security. but israel's security can never be dried from in prison, bombarding, systematically incarcerating, demolishing houses. we're talking about the debate that gaza is just a simple of a broader palestinian struggle. it is a brutal lesson, a pilot project. and i'll end with this. a spokesperson has said on twitter that after the israeli attacks on the first u.s. goal, there's there's been two other since this tweet, u.n. schools turned shelters using military aid, u.s. military aid. we should all hang our heads in shame but that from the shame
3:16 pm
should come justice and dignity. and i should add security, freedom and accountability for the palestinian people. thank you so much. [applause] >> the before we take a few questions, i'd like to ask congressman steve ellison to come up and deliver some remarks, please. [applause] >> i would something like to welcome all of you to capitol hill, ask you to continue to come here. this is your house, this is the people's house. and and that for whatever answers might be found here,
3:17 pm
given the u.s. involvement in this matter, that she would knock the doors and walk the halls and talk about the cases, and talk about the people. i want to give a special thank you and congratulations, very bravely told his story, eloquently, and honorably and they came to visit me yesterday. and i want to thank you for visiting me again. i also want to thank your mother and father -- i am a father of four myself, and brother, i don't know what i would get if whawhat i would get if i saw my son's face looking like that. i just i would be grateful he is still alive, but i'd be heartbroken. and so i just say, my prayers are with you. certainly with you, ma'am. so that's all -- what you think our experts who gave his contest one and i just want to say, if there's one thing we really doing is but we really need to do is to occupy and be in this
3:18 pm
space on capitol hill much more. and we are contemplating another meeting, a briefing after the august recess. and hopefully we get a bigger one. thanks. [applause] >> thank you very much, rep allison. we really are pretty all your courageous work and standing for a cease-fire and a lifting of the blockade as sunjeev mention. in the few minutes that we have left i'd like to open this up for very brief questions from the audience and i'd like to turn over the floor to any congressional staff people or media who may have questions. what we'll do is we'll take maybe three at a time and then the panelists which particular one they would like to answer it and i've asked the panelists to
3:19 pm
speak into these two in my tracks when they respond. because those are the ones that pick up the sound. so with that, on to any questions? okay, so yes, please. [inaudible] >> kidnapping of an israeli officer and a british citizen? >> yes, please. >> a lot of people give, for example, the one they call our office, is -- [inaudible] while yes, that is a human rights violation and yes, that is -- [inaudible] but how do you counter that? basically framing it in such a way that they are not a victim in this situation, that the palestinians are?
3:20 pm
>> do we have a third question? in the back, please. [inaudible] >> a violation of the 1976 arms control act. >> great. i'm going to turn this over to the panelists. would anyone like the first question? >> so, i think in the context of what's happening now, right, we all try to put this in context of a seven-year long speech. i think it's not accurate to just situate it in the presence -- the present. so when it comes to indiscriminate attacks, right, hamas is guilty of the, of human rights watch, amnesty international, all the international agencies, indiscriminate rocket attacks on civilian population about to a war crime. so does targeting u.n. schools,
3:21 pm
so does targeting hospitals, bombing civilian structures, targeting civilians directly. targeting children directly. those also amount to war crimes. so it's not, you know, it's important to think about the context in gaza, someone else's war crime doesn't justify your war crime. international humanitarian law is individual. to a state. if another party to the conflict violates international law, that doesn't justify, you know, attacks on a civilian population to both parties are obligated, and both parties should be held accountable for international humanitarian law violation. i think that's a starting point. nobody is the victim, right? it doesn't matter about victims. it's about rules law, it's about implementing specific and precise calculations into can be targeted and you can.
3:22 pm
civilian population can't be a target no matter who the actor is but i think that's what is missing from a lot of the dialogue that surrounds the current conflict but also doesn't really raise itself within the broader context of the israeli occupation and the impact it has on the palestinian population. >> socom i remember the first two questions. questions. i was three the. the blog on the capture of an israel soldier, one on the question of rockets, and then the third -- so on the first question with regard to the capture of an israeli soldier, and our extensive provisions and protections under international law with regard to prisoners of war and captured soldier. i don't have the full text of the geneva conventions that apply to that in front of me but i will point out a few things right now that apply to soldiers captured in battle or combatants
3:23 pm
captured in battle. one is they should not be treated as a hostage. that means individuals captured on the battlefield should not be treated as bargaining chips or in other ways as a hostage, and this applies to all the parties of conflict, hamas, policy and armed groups as well as the israeli military and those who it is captured. with regard to specific individuals who may been captured and others who may have been captured, they should be allowed to communicate freely with it, including through and sending letters pretending to be held in humane conditions and they need to be given immediate access to the international committee of the red cross. there are more details in international law with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war and captured combatants that we could talk about later. with regards to the second question, no policymaker or elected official should be forced to take sides on the question of human rights. human rights means that everything should be protected in the context of conflict and war. they should be no collective punishment which it applies as a
3:24 pm
description to the gaza blockade, and policy makers and elected officials ought to have an excerpt the freedom to stand up for human rights, but whatever the ethnicity, national religion of the people impacted. one would think about this is the following. the u.s. government provides funding for the iron dome which protects israeli civilians from some rockets fired by hamas, militants and palestinian armed groups. where is the iron dome for civilians in gaza to protect them against artillery fire and other munitions that are fired in the context of war crimes by the israeli military, which is supplied by the united states? where's the iron dome for palestinians in gaza? so that's the basic question to is the u.s. government going to hold not just its perceived adversaries accountable but also its allies accountable for standing up for basic human rights? >> you know, i think it's important, let's not forget that
3:25 pm
before any israeli civilians were killed by hamas rocket fire, which will of course be condemned against civilians, over 300 palestinians have been killed. at the time was about a third of whom at least seven children, four-fifths civilians, mostly women actually. so it speaks for itself and we need to value all human life deeply. i sincerely believe that had the lives of palestinian children been valued, we would not have the high death tolls that we do. it's also very important to note right now that we are not funding hamas rockets. we condemn hamas rocket for. we are funding israeli rocket fire that has killed over 1400 people, for this of whom are civilians. let's not forget that the u.n. bodies of you has said that israel's -- this is happening in our name as americans because we are funding it and it's her duty to stand up against it, both before god and before international human rights law.
3:26 pm
>> friends don't let friends kill children. >> just briefly on the question of arms export control act, the uses to which u.s. weapons can be put by a foreign country are strictly limited to internal security and legitimate self-defense. i think what we have heard here very clearly from all the panelists here today is that the use of force by israel is in no way legitimate self-defense. it's being used to commit what we've heard of, being a likely war crimes and so forth. the challenge i think for this audience on capitol hill is to ensure that these laws are being applied because they should not be held to a different standard and should be held to the exact same standard that we have for other countries. and for violating the arms export control act that are clear consequences.
3:27 pm
a nation cannot receive any deliveries of arms or weapons or ammunition if it's in violation of this law. so if congress is serious about the laws in which it passes, in these calls, but it has to apply this law to israel. okay, we have time for maybe two more quick questions. so let me do one and two year. go ahead, please. >> so a lot of the justification for israel attacks on the palestinian territory in the gaza strip, is that hamas is hiding rockets into civilian controlled areas like mosques and hospitals. what would be your response for that argument? >> given the fact that israel's iron dome is successful in blocking rockets, is it correct to say that any rocket retaliation by israel is illegal given the --
3:28 pm
[inaudible] in gaza? and that it should not launch any rockets, and, in fact, if it has not done so, it would've been better for its own security by not fomenting greater hatred against it? and in that way helping hamas. >> so i think the first question -- briefly, i think it's similar to what i said previously. so the justification that human shields allow somebody to disregarded civilian casualties, that's not international humanitarian law. that's wrong, right? if israel knows that there are missiles under a school, in the school, in a hospital, they know that civilians are there. been the presumption is, that's
3:29 pm
not a military target. you can't attack that target. and that's the calculation. i mean, each target needs to be evaluated in that way. you need to distinguish between military objects, between civilian objects. once you do that if that meant the object is going to cause disproportionate impact is going live, so in structure, infrastructure, you still cannot bomb that because there's a principle of distinction, principle of proportionality. and we see the attacks currently, please attacks in november 2012, attacks in operation pass led by the iraqi military -- israeli military have been in complete disregard and complete disregard of civilians life. it goes back to the blockade. i think the blockade is characterized by complete disregard of civilian life. interest of distinction, very little proportionality in any respects.
3:30 pm
>> you know, with regards to the question, the storage of hamas and palestinian armed groups munition to amnesty international has been monitoring reports. we've not seen any evidence of gaza civilians being compelled to be human shields as the israeli government has come -- has claimed. we have not seen evidence of it pushed gaza since to act as human shields. we have noted incidences where hamas members have stored rockets near civilian areas, and there are of course the reports of the several u.n. schools or facilities that have more rockets have been found but it's important to note though that those schools were not actively being used at that time. so with regards to the question of if to the extent of the questions focus on the following scenario rockets being stored in the around actively civilian populated structures, amnesty international has not found evidence to suggest that there
3:31 pm
are, in fact, conditions are rockets being stored in facilities where civilians are sitting as ricky or internally displaced people. >> meanwhile, i should add there is ample evidence from well documented evidence by israeli human rights groups of israeli soldiers using palestinians as human shields. that's never discuss the indie media. all just and i sang -- dasher i will just end by saying all of these children and their parents and grandchildren that were killed in the had no weapons and as. neither did the four young boys were playing soccer with journalists on the beach that were targeted, targeted as they ran for shelter. >> hamas hides weapons enacted soon weapons has not only been debunked by amnesty international but it's over to the weapons of mass destruction argument that we used against iraq, which we have still not found of those. we still not found those weapons are stored in active siblings sides but i think nbc's
3:32 pm
reporter, he witnessed for children playing on the beach. there were no weapons anywhere around and he saw those for children blown to pieces. i have a four year old child but it's unimaginable. again, israel must value human life equally. and again hiding those weapons is straight out of the playbook that they put thousands of dollars to come up with, talking points to win over a western audience. when you see talking point, look at the reality. >> do you want to say anything? >> my client, they claimed he was throwing molotov cocktails. completely false. he was not engaging in the illegal activity and he witnessed what happened, and it is ready please try to convince the molotov cocktails, which for me is really irrelevant because nothing can -- nonetheless israel has a history of claiming the victim and fabricating lies.
3:33 pm
we documented that. >> i want to profoundly thank all of our panelists for their heartfelt words here, their expert testimony, there work for justice and for peace. laila, brad parker and sunjeev bery. thank you all for attending. for more information about this issue, please see the website of the u.s. campaign to end the israeli occupation at the end of the occupation.org. thank you very much for coming applause mac [inaudible
3:34 pm
conversations] [inaudible conversations]
3:35 pm
>> before leaving today on a five week break, do senate passed $225 million in emergency spending to replenish israel's missile defense system. that money will go to restock israel's iron dome defense. the senate passed the measure by unanimous consent. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell joined other republicans on the senate floor and commented on how republicans work with democrats in support of visual. mr. monnell minutes.ell >> let me just say to my friend, the majority leader, this is asn good example of us being able to put aside partisan considerations and work together, to help our good friend israel. i particularly want to salute senator graham and senator mccain to been absolutely relentless in their efforts to make sure that we sent this important signal to israel at a very tough time for them.
3:36 pm
they are being come in my view, criticized i everyone for pursuing a policy that amounts of a certain we wouldn't pursue if somebody across our border were launching missiles at our civilian population. and i think it's important for us to send a signal that the united states stands behind one of its best friends, if not its best friend, in the world. i think the prime minister of visual pretty well summed it up when he said, there's no moral equivalency here. hamas launches missiles on civilians. and israel warns of civilians when it intends to attack. and hamas uses its own civilians to protect its missile. no moral equivalency whatsoever. so as much of the world levels
3:37 pm
its gruesome at issue. i think it's important for the united states to say, what nonsense to suggest that the israelis are doing anything that almost any country in the world would have done had its citizens been threatened by a neighbor as israel has experienced. so obviously i do not object, and -- >> senator from arizona. >> mr. president, i would just like to take a moment to thank both leaders for their effort in bringing about this much-needed, not only refunding, but to signal that congress will send an the president will sign that we are supportive of them. we all know the latest news is tragically that a proposed cease-fire has broken down. apparently and issuing a soldier has been captured, and all of us know the ramifications of that in the future, the value that
3:38 pm
the israeli government and people rightfully put on each one of their citizens who serve. i'd like to thank again our majority leader and republican leader for coming together on this most important signal. this isn't just about money. it is a signal from the american people and the american taxpayer that we are with the israelis. because if they do not have iron dome, they can't defend himself. it's that simple. the iron dome is the ability to keep innocent siblings and neighborhoods and families from being destroyed by these barrages of literally thousands of incoming rockets. so again, i thank my friends, and there's been no more relentless on this effort and the senator from south carolina. and i'd like to yield to him.
3:39 pm
>> mr. president, yesterday -- the time is blurred another idle if it was yesterday or early this morning, a very bad thing happened to the people of israel. during a cease-fire that they agreed to, and israeli you apparently was attacked by a hamas suicide bomber. and after that attack there was a charge against the unit in question, and apparently a soldier has been kidnapped. it is so appropriate that today of all days, the united states senate signals in one voice. senator reid, i cannot thank you enough for making this happen. senator mcconnell, you have worked to make sure it got cleared on our side. and it finally has. they are running out of iron dome missiles to protect themselves. who do they turn to? us. $225 million is a lot of money, but it's a rounding error in the
3:40 pm
budget. and it's not only the missile that matter, it's the message that goes with the missiles. we are with you. here are the missiles. use them to defend yourself, and we will stand with you on the battlefield. we will stand with you in the court of public opinion. and we're going to push back against the united nations that's becoming more and more anti-israeli. as dysfunctional as the congress has been, this is one of our finer moments. we are about to leave here soon with a lot of work undone, but let it be said that we did have the foresight and the ability, and quite frankly the moral decency to end on a positive note. you can say i thought about this congress, and much criticism is deserved, but here's what you cannot say. we left israel in a lurch. in a bipartisan manner we were there when they needed us the most. and to our friends in israel, stay as long as you need to stay, do whatever you need to do. to our friends in palestine, we
3:41 pm
grieve when children are killed. there is no more innocent person on the planet that a child. to the palestinian people, reject hamas and seek peace. we are not your enemy. we stand to help you, but you have to reject this terrorist organization that has the coldest and darkest of hearts. they would kill every israeli child and put your showed at risk. reject this hateful ideology while you still can put our friends in israel, there is more to come when it comes to standing by your side. thank both leaders of the senate are rising to the occasion. >> i appreciate the words of my three friends. mr. president, there are times when bipartisanship does not exist or i'm going to know last night when we couldn't get this cleared, i, we, there were no finger-pointing.
3:42 pm
i understand the person objective. is a fine man, a man of principle. but i have faith in this institution, and our sticking by our friend. so i'm happy to be here today to be part of this conclusion. and now, the situation in israel is grave. we think this i dome protects issue. it protects a lot of issue, but israel does not have enough iron domes, plural, to protect them. they need more. but this will be certainly a step in the right direction. 3000 rockets have been fired in the last two and a half, three weeks. 2000. but for this technology that was perfected by the israelis, they would be in dire straits. it would be a war in the mideast
3:43 pm
that we can't imagine. and, mr. president, let's be realistic. are we going to benefit from what they have done? of course we are. this technology, they're sharing with us as we speak. there was a cease-fire that lasted about two and a half hours. it's terribly unfortunate what's going on over there. but as david brooks said on the "newshour," this conservative columnist said he had never known of the conflict in history where a one-sided says gilmore. it's hard -- kill more. it's hard to govern in wind and israelis notify someone there's going to be action taken in this building, would you leave? the leadership in gaza tells them to stay there, and,
3:44 pm
unfortunately, a lot of them do. this is something that's hard for me to comprehend, something like this goes on. that little country, that tiny, little country is the only democracy in the whole area. that's it. netanyahu, if i were in israel, the is really the people determine who leads the country. and i don't know of a bond of friendship that we have or ever had in world history better than this one. and so i will stand by israel. i will stand by israel for a lot of personal reasons, but certainly for political reasons.
quote
3:45 pm
and i have no hesitation in declaring to the world that's how i feel spent if there's no objection to being in his consent request, so ordered. >> and after the senate approved the money for israel's missile defense system, senators mccain and graham held a briefing with reporters. to do is focus of senate approved about two under $25 million. the centers talked about the cia's admitted spying on the senate intelligence committee and the agency's use of torture tactics. those comments are about 20 minutes. >> very disturbed. there's two issues here. what is the whole issue of torture in what went on during those years, in my view, were shameful. because actions that were taken that clearly violated the geneva convention of which we are signatory as for treatment of prisoners is concerned, and we outlawed that as an amendment of ours on the defense authorization bill.
quote
3:46 pm
it was outlawed. the president signed the bill. so although it was important to go back and review the exact things that happened and have the congress and the american people understand it so we would never do it again. it's my hope and belief. then there's another issue. that is that a legally constituted carrying out the senate responsibilities of the senate intelligence committee, they were carry out an investigation. that is not just -- it's not a pleasure. it's their responsibility to give it. that's what congress is supposed to be. that's what our constitution calls for. so clearly without a doubt now, the destructive cia has quote apologized. they work spied upon and maybe perhaps even impeded. by another agency, another branch of government who
quote
3:47 pm
vociferously denied that that was taking place on a number of occasions. this is to me the utmost seriousness. what did the director of the cia know, and when did he know it? and what action did he take if he knew about it? and if he didn't know about it, why in the world didn't he know that people under his direct area of responsibility were violating the fundamental barriers of constitutional authority and responsibility. i think it's of the most seriousness. i think, i think i'd like to give them a chance to respond how this happened, why it happened, et cetera. but if we don't hold the director of the cia responsible for this, and i don't know what, where responsibility could lie. [inaudible] >> did you ever imagine something like this happening?
quote
3:48 pm
>> this is out of one of those really great to be movies, you know, where the agency of government goes after some usually rather attractive young woman who has broken, found that information that she has to be exterminated for accidental death orchestrated. really, this is out of a movie. and i really never believed, i never believed that an agency of government, particularly with the capabilities of the cia, would carry out such actions, which is a clearly unconstitutional -- it's, in some ways it's worse than criminal. how can we be confident that the -- that our responsibility are able to be carried out without any parents from the executive branch of government? and away, frankly, the presidential spokesman yesterday just kind of, just dismissed it
quote
3:49 pm
out of hand. that is even more appalling to me. and i did not mean to sound sexist in my remark about bad movies. i apologize. if i apologize, a certain attractive individual is usually targeted in these bad movies. [inaudible] >> by the evil, evil influences of the federal government. and now we are seeing something that really is out of a bad movie. so i -- not only is it a serious, by the way the administration seems to be just dismissing and out of hand is even more alarming. spend what do you want to happen? >> number one -- [inaudible] what do you want to happen? >> okay, so number one, let the dust settle and found out how remarks t the cia director saidt would just be on the tail to believe this happened to a few
quote
3:50 pm
mostly, i guess it did. that's not a vote of confidence from the cia director. the details to the public that something, an accusation against her agency is beyond the pale and some independent groups as well, by the way can you actually did what you are charged with and you don't know. that makes me wonder else doesn't he know. i have long since believe we need -- we need a new cia director. this is just the last in a string of events. this cia has brought the proposition forwarded to you could kill the five top al-qaeda leaders, that would be the end of al-qaeda. so i just don't really have a lot of confidence in the cia director. about this particular event about torture, there may be a minority report suggesting that we did gain actual intelligence from waterboarding and other techniques that are prohibited by the geneva convention. i want to disassociate myself with that view. anything that we gained, we lost
quote
3:51 pm
more. now, the average american is wondering, why do we care, or why should we care about how you treat a detainee, particularly and radical islam is? ya isis caring people's heads off were attending church and bring them on a powerline to give all kind of barbaric things going on in syria and iraq. that's not destined for america. i've been a lawyer for over 31 years to this man has been held by a vicious enemy, who could care less about any rules. the goal of senator mccain and his of his to make sure that we don't compare ourselves to them. that we compare ourselves to we are in the geneva convention that we already do and actually lead the way. so when this report comes out, if it suggests that gaining good information made everything all right, i reject that because in the effort of gaining information you violated, i think, the spirit of who we are. as to the individuals involved, they should be protected because this came from the top level of
quote
3:52 pm
the government. and to the people in the bush administration, i understand being under siege not wanting another 9/11. we all make mistakes but america'americais a great placer our dirty laundry. as to what should happen next, where is the congress? now, i've been pretty forward leaning about america engagement in the world. there's one thing to have a program to detect a gathering storm that may lead to another attack. radical islamists are in our backyard. they're here already and trying to penetrate america. if you want to reform the nsa program to make it more transparent and to protect privacy, that makes sense to me. but what the cia did is not equivalent. the cia tried to protect itself. that cia apparently tried to gain information for a congressional investigation to mold the outcome to protect itself. where is the outrage on capitol hill?
quote
3:53 pm
[inaudible] >> could i just quickly say, there needs to be an object of investigation composed of individuals that have the trust and confidence of the american people. exactly what that is, i think we should discuss. i am a great admirer of my former colleague, senator bayh. but accountability review board is not appropriate for an issue of this magnitude. and, finally, again, the minority report will say that certain information was gained at first of all i reject those on their face. but second of all come even if there were some truth to it, the damage done to the united states of america's reputation is incalculable. >> let me verify, you want to discuss -- >> i disagree with the minority report in that the minority report me say that there was some information gained.
quote
3:54 pm
that cannot compare to the damage that it did to the reputation and image of the united states of america. and increase the ability of jihadists and extremists to recruit people who want to destroy the united states of america and everything they stand for. it is a stain on america's honor. [inaudible] >> the justice department has already said you're going to decline the process -- [inaudible] to our colleagues of yours, senator udall yesterday was floating the notion of special prosecutors. >> as i said, we'll be glad to discuss some way of investigation conducted by people who have credibility of the american people, whether that's inside the congress, whether it's a special prosecutor, whether it's -- whatever it is. we would be amenable to most any form, as long as its quiver with
3:55 pm
the american people and congress. it can't come from inside the agency whose director directly lied to the american people on at least two occasions that i know of about this whole issue. >> can i say something about this cia? mike morrell i know misled congress about what happened in benghazi. when it came to change the falcon boy tomato myself, senator mccain and others that that's the mister, we don't know. maybe the fbi did a. now we know that he changed the talking point. so you got the deputy director at the state a -- acting cia director is leaving comments on two occasions a night of the cia director not knowing if there that his organization was breaking into computers, regarding an investigation at this agency. to me, this is a very big deal and an apology is not enough. [inaudible] >> isn't is considerably more serious?
quote quote
3:56 pm
>> i think in some respects. of course, human lives were lost in benghazi, and that is obviously the ultimate responsibility we have to. but this is different in that, this has got to do with the fundamentals of our constitution and the division of power in the checks and balances that are supposed to govern the way -- are supposed to be the dictates of how we govern this country. and if you have something like this going on, how can the american people be confident that our intelligence agencies are carrying out their constitutional responsibilities and not acting like a rogue agency? >> debating this broader report in the coming days and it is when is there anything you can talk about two is now that they are concerned about? >> i have not read it but i've been told, you know, that they will cite several instances
3:57 pm
where the information gained led to the foiling of terrorist plots. won, i've heard account information about these allegations, but i can't cite them until they are made public. and the other aspect of this that the minority report does really get into is that when someone is enduring physical pain, they will tell you anything they think you want to hear in order to have that pain stopped. so they're saying about some accurate information, they also got a plethora of inadequate information, totally false information. because they wanted it stopped. that's understandable. >> are you speaking from personal experience speaks oh, yeah. oh, yeah. yes, absolutely. >> when you sent amenable, who
3:58 pm
is we? >> no, no. the two of us. we were asked, the two of us, but we were all are having a recession with a lot of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. this is pretty bipartisan that udall and, senator from new mexico and others are outraged by this as well as on our side of the aisle. what we need to do is have a conversation as have the best way to the full and complete investigation conducted in a manner that the american people can trust its outcome. >> a follow-up question. are you going to wait until september? >> i hope not. i hope that we could have communications and consensus, particularly amongst those who are heavily engaged in these issues on both sides of the aisle. >> the first thing i did is create desire. we got to great desire among the body, not less this past. we've got to create desire to make sure that this, this is not
3:59 pm
the end of the inquiry because of the revocation that senator mccain indicated. and that's the torture issue. we live in difficult times. it in a difficult time just to hang on to your values. i believe we can win this war by being good americans. i will take the fight to the enemy. i think you all completely understand that i am forward leaning. but i don't want to live being a good american in the process. it is actually what would bring to the fight is our ultimate trump card. there's not a shortage of people who cut your head off in the world. there's a shortage of people who will stand up, even in difficult times, for the right thing. so the reason i've been so passionate about it, and i've never been tortured, i'm a support person to i've been a military lawyer but i understand the value of my client, the air force speakers i've been tortured by having to associate myself with senator graham. >> absolutely. and that probably won't end
4:00 pm
anytime soon i want to reinforce this. ..

1,414 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on